Friends and communities are helping prevent veterans’ suicides
When Joe Rustenburg came back from war, he wanted to shut out the world. He had seen buddies maimed and killed during tours with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2008. And he’d been wounded in the head by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade explosion.
He left the military in 2011 with post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury, moved to a small community in Saskatchewan, and hunkered down.
“I wanted to get as far away from the military and other people as I could get,” he said.
Each year up to 10,000 members leave the Canadian Armed Forces, some with suicide on their minds, including Rustenburg, who attempted it twice—in 2009 and 2010.
The CAF’s Life After Serv...